Varna’s problems are enormous, nothing significant has happened in recent years, and if Blagomir Kotsev from the PP-DB wins the local elections, he will have a difficult task working with a fragmented municipal council. This is what the candidate for mayor of the maritime capital in 2023 said in Actualno Studio Peter Nikolov, erected by “Bulgarian Rise”. He is a lawyer who led some of the landmark cases in Bulgaria.
Nikolov supported the candidacy of Blagomir Kotsev from PP-DB because he wants to “break the model in Varna”. “I think his higher score comes as a result of the better block he formed before the runoff,” he argued.
According to the first results, Kotsev is ahead of the current mayor and GERB candidate Ivan Portnich in the runoff.
“The idea that we are making a revolution made me support Blagomir Kotsev, because a large part of the other participants kept quiet, maybe even out of fear. A lot of people I think are afraid because we all know who the ruling party is. It’s all about the jobs, the projects, the funding,” he said, without giving specific details.
The problems of Varna
Nikolov gave an example from 2015, when he was a candidate for mayor of the Varna region – then Ivan Portnih won with over 60% support in the first round and promised a complete transformation for all neighborhoods. “This has not happened so far, there has been no change in the city in the last 8 years. There are separate repairs, work is being done piecemeal, only one boulevard was built – for the colossal over BGN 50 million. Everything else has been started and unfinished,” he believes.
“Varna’s problems begin with the repair of the Asparuhov bridge, the need for a second Asparuhov bridge, the need for the “Hemus” highway, the “Cherno More” highway, the problem with the port, transport links, infrastructure – the Varna stadium has not been built. There is a pipe pouring faeces into the canal under the Asparukh bridge. The new mayor, if there is one, will have a very difficult task firstly to formulate a majority in the municipal council and secondly – to find support from the government for the infrastructure projects,” said the lawyer. In his words – Varna is “in ruins”.
Possible majorities in the municipal council
In the extremely fragmented local parliament, the majority will be shaped by who the mayor is, the lawyer claims. “Although on the surface the municipal parliament looks very colorful, at least 15 of these seats are corporate votes, that is, one-third to 45%. They are with the same sponsor. These people should be for the previous mayor Ivan Portnich. If Blagomir Kotsev is the next mayor, it will be very difficult for him to create a majority and work in this configuration,” said Nikolov.
“People are looking for change, they want to give a chance to another mayor of the city, although they do not recognize either of the two candidates as mayor. I do not consider that there is revolutionary euphoria,” said Petar Nikolov.
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